Wow! What’s that all about.
How to control your partners, it’s all in the wrist action.See, you thought I was going to do something else then, didn’t you? Admit it 🙂
No, this week’s blog is all about just a simple thing of letting your partner know what is going on by the control you offer through your lower arm and wrist.
Level 1 Clear Intentions
At its very basic point, it is a staggeringly clear signal to use that you are about to do something different.
There you are just doing a basic step, back and forwards, back and forwards 30 or 40 times :-). Twist your wrist from anything past 45 degrees in any direction and feel your partner respond. You haven’t put any force into anything; you’re not doing anything, but that difference will get your partners attention.
And because the alert has gone off, any lead that follows will be easier.
It also works in reverse, if your follow decides to put in a little flourish at the end of the move and twists your wrists wouldn’t you prepare for something from them instead of going straight into the next part.
Let go through that again just to be clear. If you’re banging out 2000 different moves in a three-minute dance, then your partner is already on full alert so don’t get silly.
If however your number of moves is on the low count or you do basic move, basic move, something random, basic move, basic move; then add it in for the random move.
We all use the basics because the muscle memory is so established, and very few of us have the repertoire for a full dance without adding them, so, all of us will switch down a gear if they are constantly popping up.
Yes, different dancers will act accordingly but a little nudge that something is coming works for every single level of dancer you meet, so why not do it and see how a slight detail improves your dances.
Level 2 Avoid the Chaos
You are in a busy freestyle, the music’s banging, the floors a rocking, etc. And everybody is dancing in the same direction just like in the lessons, for some bizarre reason.
Then someone is suddenly dancing at a different angle because the move they tried didn’t go 100% right causing everyone to change angles and if you carry on going the way you are, your partner is going to be led right into a shiny viscous dagger-like high heel.
The simplest way to deal with this is to tense up your arm as you’re coming to the end of a move just before your partner steps backwards and lead them off at a different angle. To be fair, it is a lot easier if you tense your whole body and lead in the direction your chest is facing, however, the tension built up before the step back is the key.
Level 3 Musicality
If you want to add a real level of musicality to your dancing then a simple understanding of the ebb and flow using the tension in your body to create it, is a skill set you want.
There other talents needed but this is fundamental that’s on the list.
Imagine that the music changed tempo mid-move. You can just continue as you were and alter your timing at the start of the next move but if you can react right away, then the dance makes sense.
I mean that to sound the way it does. The dance makes sense.
When you dance with the music instead of TO the music, then you need to be working and thinking differently.
It doesn’t need to be a forceful, bold clarion of defiance to do this; it doesn’t need to be constant either.
A single slight touch of pressure or tautness in a move can be used to alter the next several seconds worth of timing.
This is a skill set, so you do need to learn and play about with it.
So, try it. Think about the reactions that you got. Consider how you can use that in another dance and repeat.
To be honest, this skill does work both ways but as a lead, I can try and convey that as a skill to learn from that perspective. I suck as a follow, so if you want to add your voice to this, then please feel free.
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